Press Release- Narendra Modi what about actual policy about Farmers and Workers of Gujarat


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PRESS RELEASE
DATE: 20 May 2013

     During ninth ‘Krishi Mahotsav of Gujarat’, Government of Gujarat, tried to fool farmers with false promises while during ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ they insulted Farm, Farming, Farmers, and Workers of Gujarat.

We want clarification from “only and only one working man” Mr. CM of Gujarat’ about his actual policy about Farm, Farming, Farmers, and Workers of Gujarat.

During ninth ‘Krishi Mahotsav of Gujarat’, Government of Gujarat, is trying to fool farmers by showing with promises but when Mr. Narendra Modi’s Government of Gujarat organised the Vibrant Gujarat they have no problem in insulting Farm, Farming, Farmers and Workers of Gujarat.
The then Finance Minister of Gujarat Mr. Vajubhai Vala on 11th January 2011 while addressing a day-long pre-Vibrant Gujarat Summit seminar at Ahmedabad Management Association on ‘Industry Responsive Skill Development: The Emerging Trends in Gujarat’ said, “A farmer engaged in agriculture on a five acre plot will earn enough only for his family. But if an industry is set up on that land, it will provide sustenance to families of 25-30 thousand workers.” I would like to inform small and marginal farmers of Gujarat that the real agenda of Mr. Modi is to pursue corporate farming; his vision about the growth of agricultural sector of Gujarat is at the cost of livelihood of small and marginal farmers and food security.

The capital investment mania does not stop here but also insults the workers of Gujarat. Mr. Vala further instructed local industrialists not to spoil workers by giving them more than what is rightfully due to them. Government of Gujarat has converted worker of Gujarat from ‘workers to shramyogi’ and later on from ‘shramyogi to sahyak’.
At present, in “Vibrant” Gujarat, new employees in government are not recruited but sahyak are appointed in all the government department, who are low-paid temporary contract worker lured with a permanent job in future. In private industry, you may get job that will be low-paid as casual or contract worker and working hours varies from 10-12-14 hours.

Because of the commitment for capital to achieve two-digit growth, Gujarat is number 11 (two-digit figure) in Human Development Index among Indian states.
Let Mr. Modi clarify his real policy about Farm, Farming, Farmers and Workers of Gujarat.

Rohit Prajapati
Social Activist of Gujarat.

 

Another Draconian Bill from Gujarat


 

The Gujarat Government has done it again! On February 26th 2013, it tabled ‘The Gujarat Irrigation and Drainage Bill, 2013’ which seeks to make it compulsory for farmers to get a licence to draw water from a canal or ground well beyond a certain limit and prescribes penal action including imprisonment against the errant farmers. 

 

In a year designated by the United Nations as the ‘International Year of Water Cooperation’, the bill is absolutely draconian in nature clearly aimed against the small farmer and heavily weighing in favour of industrialists and powerful vested interests.

 

The bill was passed “unanimously”, after the Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly staged a walk-out demanding that the bill have a wider consultation and that all contentious portions from it be deleted immediately.  The leader of the Opposition Mr. Shankersinh Vaghela stated “the bill was originally brought by the British who wanted to control the farmers. The State Government should withdraw the bill and form a committee to study it.”

 

The new bill seeks to replace the Bombay (Gujarat) Irrigation Act 1879 which was first enacted by the British 134 years ago. The bill has several contentious provisions, among them are:

 

  • farmers need a licence to draw water from canals or ground well beyond a limit
  • violations incur a six month jail term or a fine of Rs.10,000/-
  • those farmers who have their land near a canal have to pay for the water even if it reaches them by percolation or leakage
  • the appointment of “Canal Officers” with unbridled magisterial powers including to take into custody ‘erring’ farmers

 

On reading the bill, one is simply aghast at the way the farmer is targeted through this draconian bill. The sum and substance of this bill focuses on‘policing, penalties and punishment’ (P3).  The bill fails ‘in toto’ to have a comprehensive policy for water conservation and a participatory approach towards a precious natural resource which strictly belongs to the people.

 

At an important meeting convened under the banner of PUCL’s Prabudh Nagrik Shakti Manch in Ahmedabad recently, it’s Convenor Mr. Suresh Mehta (a former Chief Minister of Gujarat) unequivocally stated that “the bill violates the Constitution and of the right to liberty. It will leave the farmers at the mercy of the Canal Officer…..” 

 

Several social activists from across the State feel that this new bill is clearly of a colonial mindset where the rulers think that they can arrogate unquestionable powers to themselves and abrogate the rights of the ordinary citizen.  Over the next few weeks, Gujarat is bound to witness several public protests on this bill.  Already the PUCL has launched a public awareness campaign and a signature drive requesting the Governor of Gujarat not to sign the bill in the wider interests of the people.

 

The bill is clearly another anti-people piece of legislation strongly indicating that fascism has come to rule the roost in Gujarat!

8th March, 2013

 

(* Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ is the Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace)


Address: PRASHANT, Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad – 380052

Phone: 79 27455913, 66522333   Fax:  79 27489018
Email: sjprashant@gmail.com     www.humanrightsindia.in

 

Gujarat: Govt accused of manipulating youth employment data



DNA, Ahmedabad, 8 December 2012

Ahmedabad: Gujarat government’s tall claim of providing employment to 65,000 youth under ‘Swami Vivekananda Youth Employment Week’ have been contradicted by its won reply to a RTI plea filed on issue.

Jyoti Karmachari Mandal (JKM), the organisation that filed the plea seeking details of Rojgar Melas held in state, has accused the state government of manipulating figures to mislead people.

They alleged that state government’s reply showed that beneficiaries were given employment letters and not appointment letters as claimed, with no signature by the appointing industry. As per labour laws, an employee should be provided appointment letter and not employment letter.

The reply also suggested that name of many beneficiaries had been repeated not once but as much as three times. In Ahmedabad, 4,370 were recruited under ‘Rojgar Mela’ but all on apprentice, with no legal benefits to the beneficiary.

Member of Documentation and Study Centre for Action, Trupti Shah said, “A look at the list of beneficiaries from Vadodara would indicate that out of the 3,534 candidates appointed for the post of apprentice, there were not more than 2,700 actual beneficiaries, while the names of rest 752 beneficiaries (21.27%) were repeated/duplicate.”

A total of Rs 1.87 crore was spent for holding 489 such meets. It was found that quality of job of 37.07% of the beneficiaries was not actual employment as 11,172 (30.4%) are on apprentice and 2,452 (6.67%) are trainees, who do not receive salaries but stipend. Also, the stipend paid is too less than the salaries.

Some of the candidates whose name had cropped up in the list claimed that they had no idea as to how their name had appeared on the list of beneficiaries of ‘rojgar mela’.

In Anand, 2,464 candidates were provided jobs and 621 of them were given the job of school co-ordinator. Though they were promised a salary of Rs 4,500-5,000 per month, they actually received 3,100-3,500.

 

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